food. family. life.

greek lamb burgers with yogurt & cucumber tzatziki sauce

Memorial Day.

A day of remembrance with quiet respect and honor for those who serve this beautiful country of ours in times of peace and in times of war.

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My famiglia and I send our warmest regards to all our service men and women and their families and wish to thank them for all they do for us as a community and a nation.

Note: Got Your 6 is an organization solely created to support returning military and war veterans to aid them in all aspects of coming home after service. I have great respect for this organization and only ask that you take a moment to read about their mission and share with others to spread the word in support of all our military and their families.

A long weekend.

A slow, lazy celebration of the pending warm summer days still to come.

A day to light the grill, fuel the fire and keep cool with ice cold beverages covered with beads of sweat rolling down.

A day to feel your warm skin slip into the cooling waters of a sunlight dappled pool, or to hear the sound and feel of soft-breaking ocean waves at the edge of shore.

I long for this kind of day.

A day where I can celebrate famiglia, traditions, almost-summer seasonal food and glasses of wine with a heart filled with so much love and happiness for what I call la dolce vita.

The sweet life.cucinadimammina_roasted sweet bell peppers_01

I made these lamb burgers along with roasted sweet bell peppers for my roasted sweet bell pepper salad dish.

We served them along with plenty of tzatziki sauce, a delicious greek yogurt, cucumber and garlic mixture that is my own personal favorite condiment.

I found this lamb burger and tzatziki sauce recipe from Food & Wine Magazine and have now made it a favorite in my recipe file, one we will make over and over this summer.

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We served our lamb burgers simply with piles of red and white butter lettuce and heaping spoonfuls of tzatziki… they were wonderful.

{greek lamb burgers with yogurt & cucumber tzatziki sauce}

INGREDIENTS

the burgers:

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs. ground fresh organic lamb

1 small onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tbsps. or so of finely chopped fresh mint

3 tbsps. or so of finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

sea salt

pepper

olive oil for brushing

fresh pita bread or naan bread

red and white butter lettuce, washed and dried

paper-thin tomato slices (if desired)cucinadimammina_greek lamb burgers_06

 

tzatziki sauce:

1 garlic clove, minced

1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and seeds removed

16 oz. or so of plain greek yogurt

sea salt to taste

To make the sauce, slice and chop the cucumber into a fine mince.

Place in a sieve and squeeze the liquids out to drain and place in a deep bowl.

Add the minced garlic and the yogurt and blend well. Season with salt to taste.

Cover and refrigerate for about an hour or so before serving.cucinadimammina_greek lamb burgers_09

For the burgers, place the ground lamb into a large deep bowl and break it up a bit with your hands, cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature.

In a small skillet, add the minced onion and garlic and a drizzle of olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.

Saute this mixture until fragrant and softened.

Remove from the heat and set aside until cooled.

Once cooled, add this mixture to the ground lamb and mix well.

Season this with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped mint and parsley and blend well but be careful not to overwork the meat.

Cover and set aside until ready to grill. Start your grill and try using natural and non-chemical grill products.cucinadimammina_greek lamb burgers_12

Note: I prefer grilling all my foods over natural charcoal and wood versus gas grills, I find a noticeable difference in flavor depth and color of the finished product.

Once the grill up to heat and starting and the coals are beginning to turn to ash.

Form the ground lamb into individual burgers (size and thickness to your personal taste.) and set on a large platter; brush each one lightly with olive oil.

Grill the lamb burgers for about 3 minutes a side or so (depending on size and thickness) for medium rare to medium. Remove immediately and set aside to rest.

Place the pita bread pieces on the grill and toast until there are light grill marks and the bread begins to crisp a bit (watch carefully as they will toast very quickly on the hot grill.)

Remove from the heat and serve the lamb burgers folded inside the grilled pita bread with plenty of lettuce and tzatziki sauce on top and extra tzatziki on the side for dipping.cucinadimammina_greek lamb burgers_20

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Note: Photography by Daniel Venditti, Carina A. Favale and Annette Venditti

Buon Appetito!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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